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High profile child custody case involves medical records

When a couple decides to separate, they typically have many decisions to make. The most difficult and often contentious part of a divorce may relate to child custody. If a Pennsylvania couple is unable to come to a child custody agreement on their own or through mediation, a family court judge may have to make a ruling. As part of this process, a parent's lifestyle -- possibly even including medical records -- may play a role in the outcome.

One recent case highlights the role medical records may play in a child custody hearing. A high-profile couple split in 2011. A court recently ruled that the father is to get custody of the two children. They had previously been with the mother until certain medical issues concerning the mother came to light in court.

These issues related to apparent substance abuse problems of the mother. The medical evidence documented that she obtained prescriptions from 28 doctors and even secured prescriptions from two doctors on the exact same day. Details about an outpatient treatment program and the woman's failure to complete the program also factored into the ruling that gave the children to the father.

When parents both want child custody rulings to work in their favor, the process in court can be convoluted and potentially divisive. Both parties should be aware of the fact that a Pennsylvania judge may take personal struggles into account when making a custody decision. Medical records, criminal records and even employment records may all directly affect the outcome of a child custody case.

Source: New York Daily News, Mom whose post-divorce abortion was used against her in custody battle loses kids over pill popping, Dareh Gregorian, March 21, 2014

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